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Advancing Liver Health Ecosystem for Improve Patient Outcomes: A Hong Kong Perspective

Find out more about PIVKA-II in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) detection, or download our HCC Detection (HD) expert pack by filling in the form below:

Get the latest updates in the liver space with our HCC detection (HD) expert pack.

Includes:

  • Highlights and a PDF copy of the latest APAC regional consensus for PIVKA-II and AFP in HCC
  • APASL 2023 Congress Report
  • Updates on future studies and patient cases

Ronald Lo:
Hello everyone! Welcome to this video. I’m Ronald, the General Manager of Roche Diagnostics Hong Kong. It’s my honour today to invite Professor Yuen to have a discussion around the topics of hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hello Professor Yuen.

Prof. MF Yuen:
Hi, I am Professor MF Yuen, the Chief of Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the University of Hong Kong.

Ronald Lo:
Again, thank you so much for joining us today. So the first question I would like to get your advice would be, what is the current liver health landscape in Hong Kong; and what are the unmet needs in hepatitis screening and HCC detection in Hong Kong?

Prof. MF Yuen:
At present, Hong Kong still has a high prevalence of 7.8% hepatitis B population, amounting more than 550,000 people. According to the most recent statistics, there were more than 1,700 new cases of liver cancer in 2020. And it is known that more than 80% of Hepatocellular Carcinoma are caused by Hepatitis B infection. Even with this high rate, we do not have population screening program for Hepatitis B infection, and the surveillance for HCC is also suboptimal with respect to the lack of routine regular ultrasound of the liver for Hepatitis B patients. It is mainly due to manpower and financial constraint in the public hospital sector. On top of all these, we do not have a well-organised strategy to deliver disease information to our population. Majority of people do not know the serious disease consequence of Hepatitis B infection which may lead to early death. They also lack of knowledge of early treatment would prevent all these deleterious outcomes.

Ronald Lo:
So I would like to learn from you more, what are the recent advances in the diagnosis of HCC; and how do you see these impacting patient care and the chronic liver disease management in Hong Kong?

Prof. MF Yuen:
From Asian experience, the use of additional biomarkers, such as PIVKA-II, can significantly increase the pick-up rate of HCC at early stage, increase the likelihood for curative treatments, and thus improve the survival. New digital algorithms combining age, gender and biomarkers, such as GAAD and GALAD, have been proposed since 2013, and currently undergoing clinical validations. Recent data presented during APASL 2023 demonstrated that the use of PIVKA-II based algorithm is more cost-effective than current standard of care among Hepatitis B or cirrhotic patients in Hong Kong, which allows an earlier HCC detection and a reduced cost in subsequent HCC treatment.

Ronald Lo:
Let’s switch the gear a bit. So how do you think we can improve the coordination and integration of care among various healthcare providers and systems?

Prof. MF Yuen:
I think the most important step would be the active involvement of different concerned parties, including health care sectors from government, private institutions, policy makers, patient groups, and different NGOs, to establish a core committee which could liaise with different stakeholders to ensure the implementation of different measures to enhance diagnosis rate, screening strategy and treatment.

Ronald Lo:
And to add on, how do you see the future of liver health in Hong Kong, and what steps do you believe need to be taken to improve the patient outcomes?

Prof. MF Yuen:
The future of liver health in Hong Kong depends on whether we could have a statutory body which taking charge of planning, liaising and implementing different measures at different levels.

Ronald Lo:
Thank you Professor. So probably would be my last question. So how do you see the role of the government and the policy in addressing the liver health ecosystem?

Prof. MF Yuen:
Hong Kong government has been working on different policy making processes and decisions by involving different committees. However, the decisiveness should be more enhanced so that policy can be rolled out at a timely manner.

Ronald Lo:
Professor Yuen, thank you so much for your time today and your inspiring insights on the topics of hepatitis and HCC. And I’m sure that there are always many areas that we could further work on together to improve patient outcomes. And thanks a lot for contributing to the “Combating Cancer” educational platform as well. Thank you so much, thank you!

Find out more about PIVKA-II in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) detection, or sign up to download our HCC Detection (HD) expert pack.

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